I was going to post this set of shots earlier, but the orples were bugging me, and then they got hung up in some tree roots trying to cross the path, so I did a post on the orples to keep them satisfied. If they can keep up, they can join us as I show you one way to reach the rocks bordering the James River. This is a popular hangout spot for old and young alike on our hot summer days in the city. When the rains are heavy, sometimes the rocks can no longer be seen as the river rises within the boundaries of its shores. To begin the trek to the river, we must first park the car, then climb some old steps onto the well worn path.
For those of you who are new to my blog and don’t know what orples are, you can go to the Orples Overview section of my blog to learn more about them, if you so desire. ;) In the meantime, it is off to the river we go…
Set off on the far corner of the parking lot, in the shade, our journey begins.
This is a better view of the steps leading up to the narrow path leading to the river. For those carrying coolers, with the intent of spending the day on the rocks, it is a challenging path, no doubt. Watch your step.
This is a better shot of the tree in the path the orples got hung up in on the last post I did ( Today 6.4.12). Wearing zorries is not recommended when trying to make your way over these roots. The bank to the left goes straight down the side of the hill. Falling over the side of the bank would be a real bummer.
Once you get past the tree in the path, another set of stone steps beckons you further up the hill.
This structure stands at the top of the hill. I am not sure what it’s purpose is, really. It may have been a building that never was built, or maybe at one time there was a roof on those steel beams. This has been in for years, and I’ve never seen it in any form other than from that shown here. And I used to walk this path often, when my kids were teens and we’d come to the river. There is a porta potty tucked in the corner though, so it makes a great stop off spot, if you know what I mean.
A sign clues visitors in as to what this little path is all about and lists a few rules to follow. There is also a map of the trails, which can be accessed by bike or foot in most areas.
This is a better view of the map taken from the sign above.
It appears the orples have caught up with us. They seem to be mastering the steps. Good for them. In the background, there is a bridge crossing some railroad tracks. The gates accessing the foot bridge are locked at night to keep people off of the rocks after dark. The bridge is caged to prevent people from throwing things over the side onto the train tracks below.
These are some of those trains I was telling you about, parked along the tracks.
And if you keep looking, you’ll see more trains.
Standing on the platform leading to a set of stairs going down, you can look out over the rocks. Not many people have camped out today. It is still early in the year, but as summer progresses, towels are spread out over the rocks, much like you see at the beach.
Looking down from our perch, you can make out the tops of people’s head that have taken the stairs down to ground level. I think we’ll bypass that trip today. Maybe later. For now, a birds-eye view will give you an idea of how far above the ground we are now standing. If I remember correctly, there are five or six flights of steps down to the bottom.
Here’s one more look out over the outer shores of the river (hidden by the trees). Enjoy your view.
This is a better shot of those stairs Olivia and Oscar were descending in our earlier shot, heading toward the river. Now you can really see the porta potty, I was telling you about earlier.
And here is a different perspective on those stairs we crossed awhile ago coming up the hill. I love the way the rock ties in with the elements of nature as though the steps are a natural part of their surroundings.
As we arrive back at the parking lot, it looks as though Olivia and Oscar managed to keep up, after all. They are going to be two tired little orples when they get home, no doubt. That was quite a trek to travel when you’re the size of an orange. My little orple buddies make me proud!